The Bowery Presents
The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem

The Bouncing Souls

Fri, July 26, 2013

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

Pier 26 at Hudson River Park

New York, NY

$35 advance / $40 day of show

This event is all ages


Prohibited Items:
Weapons of any kind
Illegal Substances
Backpacks
Outside Food & Beverage, including Alcohol
Glass containers of ANY kind
Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters or personal motorized vehicles
Fireworks and Explosives
Laser Pointers
Instruments
Blankets
Chairs or Lawn Furniture of any kind
Beach/Golf Umbrellas
Coolers or Picnic Baskets
Pets (except service dogs)
Video equipment - no video recording will be allowed
Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs)
Audio recording equipment
No illegal vending is permitted - no unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed
Smoking

Rain or Shine

The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem
Brian Fallon - guitars, vocals
Alex Rosamilia - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alex Levine - bass, vocals
Benny Horowitz - drums, percussion, vocals

The Gaslight Anthem has always been hard; with GET HURT, the New Jersey-based rock 'n' roll band get heavy. Since coming together in 2007, the band has joyfully injected aspects of rock's most universal languages -- arena rock and barroom blues, folk and pure pop -- into punk's round hole, ultimately forging its own powerful, populist sound. 2012's HANDWRITTEN proved the apogee for The Gaslight Anthem's anthemic approach, scoring top 10 chart debuts in eight countries around the globe. Having climbed the mountaintop, the band has chosen to push their music farther than ever before, not via extra instrumentation or expanded arrangements, but by blowing up the template from stem to stern. Massive melodies and shout-to-the-top choruses are still well in hand, but songs like "1,000 Years" and the searing title track draw on grunge and symphonic pop, soul and psychedelia, all shot through with limitless ambition, experimental energy, and collectivist spirit.

"It wasn't exactly clear when we started what we were going to do," says singer/guitarist Brian Fallon. "We just knew we had to change it up in order to maintain being a relevant band to ourselves. There really wasn't anything else to say or do on those avenues that we had already walked on."

Having recorded HANDWRITTEN with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen), the band chose a less likely collaborator in Mike Crossey. In April 2014, Gaslight Anthem and the Irish-born producer -- known for his work with Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, and The 1975, among others -- convened at Nashville's Blackbird Studios. From the jump, the band's M.O. was to "just try everything," says Fallon. "Nothing was off limits, nothing was off the table. Everything was fair game."

Fallon suggests the sessions first bore unanticipated fruit with the album-opening "Stay Vicious." Rolling drums tumble into a gargantuan neo-metallic stomp, an instantly transformative riff that hearkens the alternative rock that soundtracked the band's coming of age. Suffice to say, "Stay Vicious" blasted the Gaslight Anthem's creative door off its hinges.

"We've never done anything like that before," Fallon says. "I thought Mike was going to think I went off the deep end. But he told me this is great, keep going like this. That sort of freed me up to go and try everything else."

With songs "all coming from different places than we'd ever come from before," the Gaslight Anthem reexamined and honed its own instincts and methodology. Electronic instruments and computer technology were used for the first time in their history, adding unexpected rhythmic flux to Alex Levine and Benny Horowitz's indefatigable engine room. Long inspired by post punk adventurism, Alex Rosamila's guitars are textured and harmonized; noisy and stuttering on tracks like "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and the closing "Dark Places." Up front, Fallon sought a vocal sound to match the musical unrest, layering his trademark shout with processed harmonies and a wracked roar he joking likens to "trying to sing like a lady in the 60s."

"I was just trying anything," he says. "I didn't feel locked into that same low baritone."

To be clear: The Gaslight Anthem of GET HURT is the same band that first broke out worldwide with 2008's THE '59 SOUND, only with greater range, skill, and yes, maturity. For all their amplified muscle and intricacy, songs like "Get Hurt" and the haunting "Break Your Heart" reveal a finely limned subtlety, etched in hitherto untouched shades of sonic grey.

"To start a song quietly and just let it breathe for a minute," says Fallon, "those things were difficult to do. We were trying to let the soft moments be soft. Everybody needs a break, even on a record."

Fallon took a parallel approach towards his lyrics, exploring more abstract and oblique narrative paths to better express his own emotional truth. The expanded depth of field sees his always vibrant, character-based storytelling colored by increasingly complex use of language and stream of consciousness spontaneity.

"It was a real working out process," he says. "I just said, I'm going to write what I think and what I'm dealing with at this moment. I don't know if it's the truth or if this feeling is going to last, but I'm just going to let it out. I just let it go. That's what was happening, that was real."

"Stray Paper" -- which features impassioned backing vocals from the one and only Sharon Jones -- provides what is perhaps the album's most transcendent moment, its intricately orchestrated hooks and modernist dynamics unlike anything in The Gaslight Anthem's remarkable canon. Rich with imagery and metaphorical flight, the song's magic realism proved a revelatory mind blower for its creator.

"I had never written from that point of view," Fallon says. "With 'Stray Paper' I feel that I touched something that I'd like to continue through the rest of my career. I would like to continue down that path and find out what else is there."

The Gaslight Anthem faced a dilemma that has confronted many bands in a similar position -- how to keep on growing while holding true to the initial vision that has earned them a legion of fervent fans around the world. Their response is audacious, energized and enduring. GET HURT might be defiantly transitional but at its heart, the Gaslight Anthem's song remains the same.

"You can never lose who you are," Fallon says. "No matter how much you change, you can never lose that core of what makes you you. If you're honest with yourself, that core remains. You don't find yourself lost in some genre you have no business being in -- you create your own."
The Bouncing Souls
The Bouncing Souls
You can count the number of bands who've stayed together for 20 years on two hands, and you can use just one to count those who've consistently released quality material for two decades. This year, The Bouncing Souls enter that esteemed category, and in keeping with their D.I.Y. roots, they've done it without major labels, corporate radio, MTV, or teen magazine pinups.

When married couples celebrate twenty years together, they're usually showered with anniversary gifts. The Bouncing Souls are celebrating their milestone by reversing that tradition and giving back to the fans, releasing one original song per month throughout 2009. More on that later, but first let's look back on some earlier days…

Picture it: 1989, a Knights of Columbus Hall in Bernardsville, New Jersey. A supportive music-loving teacher throws down $120 to cover expenses. A bunch of sweaty high school kids gather to sneak beers and rock all night at the debut show of a band called The Bouncing Souls. And a Jersey institution is born.

But the Souls' story actually begins a few years earlier than that historic gig. "Pete [Steinkopf] and Bryan [Kienlen] had a cover band called The Switch around '86 and '87," recalls frontman Greg Attonito. The band was largely booked at parties teeming with college chicks and kegstands, and occasionally, their friend Attonito would join in to channel his inner Roger Daltrey or Billy Idol.

"Then we started another band called Brad Karma and the Absent Minded Fruit Bats," says guitarist Steinkopf. "There was one song that we had called 'Quest For Goodie' and Greg would jump around and sing all kinds of crazy shit to it off the top of his head. We were all teenagers growing up in the suburbs, just looking to create our own fun."

The threesome spent ever more time hanging at shows in New York City and haunting Trenton's legendary, late, great City Gardens. The chemistry was undeniable and unstoppable, and it wasn't long before their creative juices flowed together. Tapping original drummer Shal Khichi, the band holed up in Greg's dad's attic and started writing what would make up the early Souls songbook.

Like any young band with energy to burn and original songs under their belt, the boys took to the road in order to share their music and spirit with any crowd that would listen. While there were aspirations to find audiences across the globe, even college parties and basements were enough to keep hope alive in the early days. As bassist Kienlen puts it, "We never spent too much time worrying about the future. The point of the band was always celebrating the here and now, trying to make the best of whatever was in front of us at the time."

Though it wasn't until 1995 that the band was able to tour on a full-time basis, they soon found the road to be a more frequent home than the comfort of their own beds. From headlining tiny rooms in remote towns to playing Wembley Arena with Green Day and Tokyo's Budokan with My Chemical Romance to spending time on seven different editions of Vans Warped Tour (totalling 11 months, with more sure to come), The Bouncing Souls have clocked more travel time than most airline pilots.

Since 1996, the band has had a constant traveling companion and honorary fifth member - their primary touring vehicle, lovingly called The White Castle. For ten years, she gave dutiful service, until The Gold Tour, when her engine gave out - with 300,000 miles on the odometer. Regarding her decade of service before temporary retirement (the proceeds from that tour are rebuilding the old gal's guts), Attonito says, "We converted those miles into road hours. Estimating about 40 MPH - because a lot of them aren't highway miles, with plenty of time sitting in traffic - it was staggering. Our estimate rounded out to 333.33 days driving in our truck! No exaggeration: that's about a full year!"

Fortunately, there are many more tour dates in store for both the band and their beloved Castle. Exactly how many of those dates is impossible to say, though, since the band hasn't exactly been keeping score. "I'd love to figure out how many shows we've played...I wish we kept count," says Steinkopf. "I know bands that have and it's awesome. It must be way up in the thousands by now, though."

Frequent attendees of those gigs (true believers, all) hail the Souls as one of the best bands in the world, and the boys feel the same devotion to their fans. "Bouncing Souls fans are the greatest friends ever," enthuses Attonito, "They're passionate and full of life. They really are part of the band in the sense that we're plowing a path through life together in good times and in bad."

"It's pretty much across the board too," adds Steinkopf. "every age group...all different kinds of people. My favorite is when we meet people that were there from the start and now they have kids of their own that they bring to our shows. We really are a part of each others' lives."

"And any time someone says you've influenced them certainly makes an impact on you. To know that someone has looked at something you've done and they have taken something from it - whether it be in a lyric or the way you play your instrument - has got to be the highest compliment paid," says drummer Michael McDermott. As a final piece of evidence, Kienlen points to the MySpace gallery of band-based tattoos adorning their admirers: "Last I checked it's up to almost 300 and counting. Our fans are hardcore in their unwavering support. We really are one big family."

And families share things, which is why this year, the Souls have decided to gift their family of friends and fans with twelve spanking new songs, available for the standard less-than-a-buck download on the first of each month in '09, or for purchase on 7" vinyl in quarterly compilations on their own Chunksaah Records (each featuring one additional bonus track).

Steinkopf elaborates: "We all decided that we wanted to do something different. We'd been on the same schedule for years: write a record, record a record, wait for the record to come out, then tour on it until we wanted to start the cycle again. We also wanted to break our own patterns and do something that was going to be inspiring and new for us."

Attonito adds "I remember being in New Zealand and saying we should do a release that doesn't come out all at once…I was thinking in the context of a TV series. Somebody else might have come up with the first of the month idea but usually all the creative stuff we do is a process. Everybody kind of throws a stick on the fire at the right time in the collaboration."

Doing it for the sake of the music, the fans, and their own inspiration for twenty years, the group – and their White Castle – are going pedal to the metal on a full tank of gas. According to their frontman, "The shared driving force is part of the mechanics that keeps the beast truckin' down the next highway. We were - and still are - a few passionate, rebellious, creative, idealistic, party loving punks looking for a good time, for something to believe in, and for something meaningful to live for."

With twenty years behind these legends from the Garden State, there's a lot more still to come from The B.S. – and that's no bull.
Venue Information:
Pier 26 at Hudson River Park
N. Moore Street at West Street
New York, NY, 10014
http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/